Let's not be deceived by modern propaganda: Part III

Susan Beaver
Author Susan Beaver
Collection Modern Propaganda

In this new editorial series on Storia, we'll define modern propaganda, giving examples of how it works and how it relates to politics, news, and intelligence gathering.

Part III: When Propaganda Is Just a Play

In “The Tempest,” William Shakespeare coined the phrase “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” Politics, for sure, does make strange bedfellows. These days it's hard to miss the government's tempestuous love/hate relationship with the six corporations that own the U.S. media. Or, is it just a play after all?

Either way, the corporate media keeps fanning the flames. Modern propaganda is clever, but obvious, if one looks a little closer. It uses the old bait and switch. If you're accused of one thing, claim that your “enemy” is doing the same. It works every time at the expense of the people. They are often none the wiser, which of course is the point of the drama.

A recent report from the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University provides some interesting clues to what's happening with propaganda in America. The report looks at how the top corporate-owned newspapers and TV networks in the United States and Europe covered President's Trump's first 100 days in office. The news outlets examined include the print editions of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, the main TV newscasts of CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC, as well as three European news outlets (Germany’s ARD, and the Financial Times and BBC in the U.K.). The report is quite prophetic in two regards.

First, the research shows that 41 percent of ALL news stories during this time were about Trump. That's three times the amount of coverage that presidents before him received in their first 100 days in office, and amazingly, 65 percent of the time Trump himself was the actual deliverer of the news about Trump, with other Republicans being the spokesperson (or source of the news) about 15 percent of the time.

83The press is your enemy... Enemies. Understand that?... Because they’re trying to stick the knife right in our groin.” His comment is graphic for sure

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